Inauspicious debut for new LSU coach

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 28, 2005

By Billy Gomila

Guest Columnist

LAPLACE — In the current talk radio-internet message board world of college football, fans have become even more reactionary, pouncing on the least mistake as evidence that somebody, whether its a quarterback, assistant or head coach or sometimes even an athletic director, needs to lose their job.

That being said, new LSU head coach Les Miles did nothing to endear himself a rabid fan base by gagging away a 21-point lead to Tennessee in the first ever Monday night football game in Tiger Stadium.

After feasting on mistakes by the Volunteer offense to build a three-touchdown advantage in the first half, Miles and the LSU offense pulled back the reins on quarterback JaMarcus Russell and shifted to a Rush Limbaugh-conservative attack.

The plan seemed to reek of a coach trying not to lose a game, rathter than trying to win it. It was a move that played into the hands of a Tennessee defense, which has tremendous strength in its aggressive front seven, and as LSU’s offense consistently failed to move the ball, so the defense eventually tired and allowed the Vols to launch the comeback.

It’s a mistake that Nick Saban himself could be guilty of at times, and one that Miles will have to learn from quickly, as he must now prepare to lead LSU into a classic “trap” game on the road against Mississippi State.